Forensic Services

With the accelerating pace of business and growing globalization, , the risk of disputes and conflicts inevitably increase and with greater challenge as they involve dealing across borders with customers, joint venture partners, and even foreign governments, i.e.different cultures, legal systems and accounting requirements.

Our Forensics practice combines financial accounting skills with investigative rigor, industry expertise, and the most advanced forensic technologies available-all on a global scale. Whether in the boardroom or the courtroom, our teams specialize in minimizing business disruptions, financial loss, and reputational damage-and implementing effective remedial action.

If this is your situation

  • You need an independent evaluation of loss and damage arising from a breach of contract or tort
  • You are involved in litigation or (international) arbitration and require an expert witness
  • You need to investigate and analyse a claim in a country using local knowledge of business/accounting practices
  • Your organisation suspects, or has received reports of, fraud or economic crimes
  • Your organisation is facing bribery & corruption claims or there is suspected of accounting manipulation, or inappropriate/inadequate disclosure
  • You want to ensure that you are in compliance with anti-money laundering and other financial crime regulations
  • There are concerns about the effectiveness of anti-fraud programs or controls over financial reporting
  • You want to make sure that your royalty income is correct and want to audit your licensing contracts

PwC can help you

Whatever the complexity or urgency of the situation your organisation faces, the Forensics practice can provide expert support and solutions. We offer combined forensic accounting and investigative skills to organisations (and their lawyers) that are facing issues with financial and legal implications, helping them to make intelligent, informed decisions, whether in the boardroom or the courtroom. The services we provide include:

Our services:

Forensic accounting & financial investigations

Corporate crime poses a real and substantial threat to business stability. Undetected and unchecked, it can create costly long-term problems. Dealing with suspicions of fraud and economic crimes requires much more than simple know-how. It requires speed, sensitivity and discretion. It also requires in-depth knowledge of the legal and regulatory framework in each jurisdiction.

We bring unparalleled technological and human resources to investigating and economic crimes, and to analysing and reducing vulnerability to all forms of business crime.

Our areas of specialisation include:

  • Asset misappropriation investigation

  • Corruption and bribery controls and investigation

  • Uncovering financial misrepresentation

  • Anti-money laundering measures

  • Regulatory investigations

We appreciate the need to stop illegal activity, safeguard your company's assets and reputation, prevent recurrences, and arrive at a resolution, all with as little disruption as possible to the regular flow of business. 

During their investigations, our forensic experts pursue a four-part strategy

  • Minimise business disruptions, financial loss, and reputational damage;

  • Identify the perpetrators and uncover actionable evidence;

  • Trace and retrieve stolen/missing assets as fully as possible;

  • Recommend and/or implement effective remedial action to forestall future incidents

What we do (addition)

Explore the core capabilities and skills that underpin our forensic accounting / financial investigation solutions to find out how we could support you.

Investigations

Are you looking for answers?

Has something gone wrong? Do you need to know why, who, when and how? Do you need an independent perspective?

When you’re facing an investigation, allegation or crisis it’s essential to get to the important facts as quickly as possible. But these events typically come out of the blue, catching the organisation unawares. We are here to support you at every stage, from identifying, extracting and analysing relevant data, to making sure that you never face the same emergency again.

Transparency means more investigations

Businesses worldwide are under increasing pressure to demonstrate high ethical standards and meet stakeholder demands for transparency. Investigations, whether mandated by regulators or instigated internally, are on the rise as a result.

A range of diverse events and crises can warrant a thorough investigation, including:

  • A whistle-blower report or tip off

  • Suspected fraud or misconduct

  • The loss of sensitive data or intellectual property

  • Notification of a regulator query or investigation

Dealing with these events effectively takes time, effort and investment. Allegations must be investigated thoroughly, discreetly and quickly, with the minimum disruption to the business – requiring skills that typically go beyond the capabilities of a business. But we are here to help.

How we can help

Our investigations teams have extensive experience of working on a wide range of complex investigations in multiple jurisdictions and sectors, including some of the most high-profile ever conducted. We work alongside in-house and external legal teams, carry out internal or regulator-mandated investigations, and frequently support audit teams to help them understand issues that may arise during their work.

Our investigations typically include:

  • The use of cutting-edge technology to extract and clean relevant data from electronic and other sources, including high volumes of transactional data

  • Innovative data analytical techniques to identify patterns and review documents and other sources

  • Interviews with targeted personnel, compliant with Police and Criminal Evidence legislation

  • The use of data visualization techniques to explain what we’ve found, clearly and concisely

  • Experienced financial and non-financial investigators with a wide range of skills including bribery and corruption investigators, forensic accountants and intelligence analysts

  • The involvement of our network of third-party specialists when specific knowledge is required

  • A remediation plan, including a report for the regulator or stakeholders if necessary

  • A compliance review, risk assessment and/or advice on prevention to reduce your future exposure.

Forensic accounting

Supporting you through investigations

When your organisation is faced with a financial incident that might have legal or regulatory consequences – whether it’s an accounting misstatement, suspected fraud, financial crime or a potential breach of regulations – it’s essential that any investigation is independent, has an appropriate scope and is carried out by experts so that it meets the needs of and withstands challenge from relevant stakeholders, for example regulatory bodies. Our team of technology-enabled forensic accountants have the accounting and investigative expertise and audit knowledge, combined with a sharp analytical mindset to do just that.

Clarity in a complex world

Organisations are operating in an increasingly complex environment. Rapidly evolving technology has permeated every corner of business, from internal processes to the way in which companies interact with customers, suppliers and other stakeholders. At the same time, the level of regulation has increased exponentially, with increasingly punitive consequences if businesses fail to comply.

The digital age has brought enormous opportunities but also considerable financial, regulatory and reputational risks. Financial crime and fraud is on the rise, and regulators expect high standards and robust compliance. When something goes wrong, getting to the root of the issue quickly and accurately is essential.

How we can help

Our forensic accounting teams combine the right people with the right technology to innovatively support you throughout the lifecycle of the incident. Together we work through the stakeholder pressures you face until we get to the heart of the issue and you emerge as a stronger and more resilient organisation.

To do this, we use innovative digital technology and tools to identify, collect and analyse vast amounts of electronic and hardcopy data. Forensic accountants work closely with the forensic technologists as they apply their experience and dig further into the data to uncover the facts. We provide you with the answers you need in a format which legal and regulatory bodies appreciate. If your case requires remediation, we bring expertise from across our firm and global network – calling on the expertise of over 3,500 dedicated forensic specialists in 69 territories – to help you recover losses and strengthen your processes and controls.

Fraud technology

Innovation leads the way

Technology is a critical weapon in the global fight against fraud. Innovative technology, machine learning and sophisticated data analytics give us the opportunity and capability to combat all kinds of fraud more effectively and efficiently.

Leading-edge technology underpins every stage of our work. Whatever your needs, we use the latest innovations to capture data in a forensic and detailed way, wherever it is sourced, and analyse it or hand it over to be investigated by others in a way that’s easy to navigate.

Clarity in a complex world

The digitally-enabled world has raised the stakes when it comes to fraud. Fraud has become more prevalent, and more complex to assess and detect. The good news is that technology is enormously valuable in preventing, detecting and investigating fraud – but our Global Economic Crime Survey shows that organisations are not yet using it to its full potential.

Modern organisations are complex, holding huge volumes of structured and unstructured data in a huge range of systems and databases. The ability to find and analyse relevant data quickly and accurately is essential at times of crisis, and in order to meet the demands of regulators and other stakeholders.

How we can help

Our fraud technology capability gives you confidence that whatever the situation, you will be supported by the latest innovations in fraud detection, data discovery and risk management. Our technology specialists work closely with our experts across our forensics and investigations services to make sure that at every stage, you gain the advantages that cutting-edge technology and innovation can bring.

  • We work with global organisations to select and deploy top-of-the range fraud detection tools and algorithms. We have also created our own innovative tools for our clients’ use in conjunction with leading tech companies

  • We have extensive experience in scoping, extracting and analysing data from a wealth of systems and technology, including bespoke in-house systems

  • We use technical platforms to examine Big Data sources including GPS data, call records and web logs

Ethics and compliance

Doing the right thing in a complex world

Ethical business conduct and a strong culture of compliance are vital to businesses and other organisations in today’s corporate world, and can provide business advantages in their own right. In addition, financial penalties and reputational damage caused by lapses in ethical standards and regulatory breaches are never far from the headlines, and the impact can be long lasting.

We can help you navigate the risk and compliance landscape (including local and global regulatory standards, such as the UK Bribery Act and FCPA), target your resources effectively, and create a strong culture of ethics and compliance throughout your organisation.

Optimising your Ethics and Compliance programme

The compliance demands placed on businesses and other organisations are growing by the day. Regulators expect organisations to put in place and evidence their defense against key risks such as bribery and corruption, sanctions, and other anti-competitive and unethical behaviour. Highly regulated sectors such as financial services, pharmaceutical life sciences and oil and gas face even more challenging and increasingly complex requirements, and all face significant financial, operational and reputational damage if they fail. 

While compliance requirements are complex and time-consuming, resources available to meet them are not limitless. By understanding the weak points in your organisation and the risks you face, you can better target your compliance efforts where they will be most effective. Underpinning all of this is the importance of defining and embedding a strong ethical culture with ethical behaviour to match, to ensure that your people are doing the right thing, for the right reasons.

How we can help

Our Ethics and Compliance team have extensive experience working with clients in a range of industries, both those that are regulated and those that are unregulated. We help to identify and assess the risks our clients face, as well as review the effectiveness of compliance efforts, helping to mitigate threats and protect your reputation. Understanding an organisation’s integrity risk goes hand and hand with this, including whether or how the behaviour of its people reflects the desired ethical standards of the organisation. 

Our specialist teams work closely with clients in a range of sectors to review, assess, remediate and design compliance programs in order to help clients achieve Ethics and Compliance standards that align with their values, and are practical, fit for purpose and effective. We use a combination of desktop reviews, targeted interviews, workshops, site visits, data analysis and innovative technology to gauge employee sentiment and carry out surveys when a large pool of data is needed. Whatever your specific Ethics and Compliance needs, we can help:

  • Compliance risk assessment - reviewing and assessing the risks you face in key compliance areas, identifying the priority areas for focus

  • Ethics and integrity risk assessment - assessment of actual Behaviour against intended behaviour within an organisation to identify areas at higher risk of unethical Behaviour and quantify the gaps, with recommendations for remediation

  • Ethics & Compliance framework review - assessing your current compliance framework against industry standards and best practice, identifying any gaps that require work

  • Design and implementation of a Ethics and Compliance function - drafting the framework, scope and policies and procedures in key ethics and compliance areas to meet desired standards, as well as implementation planning and execution

  • Compliance process outsourcing - executing aspects of your compliance program for you, using our specialist teams and delivery centers (for example third-party due diligence and sanctions screening) 

  • Ethics and Compliance due diligence and remediation - risk assessment and gap analysis of acquisition targets and follow up remediation to enhance and integrate compliance programs 

  • Third-party risk and compliance procedures - risk assessment, procedure reviews and enhancements on a broad range of third-party risk areas

  • Third-party due diligence - individual deep dive integrity reviews or volume global due diligence programs

Third-party risk

Who are you really doing business with?

Organisations are constantly searching for new growth opportunities in global markets. But with a world of opportunity comes uncertainty. An increasingly complex network of third-party relationships creates the potential for reputational and regulatory risk. Do you really know who you are doing business with?

We help you understand and mitigate the risk of working with third parties and choose business partners that enhance your brand, rather than risk damaging it. Our use of innovative technology, research and analytical techniques give you the confidence that your third-party network meets your own high standards of integrity, and that the risk of financial and reputational damage are minimised.

The danger of the unknown

Third-party relationships – with suppliers, distributors, intermediaries, logistics providers and customers – are the basis of a successful global business. But regulators are watching. A swathe of regulation, including the UK Bribery Act, the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, Modern Slavery Act and anti-money laundering and sanctions screening requirements, exposes businesses to the risk of legal liability and significant remediation costs – not only from their own actions, but from those of third parties they deal with.

This legislation has made third-party risk the most significant that multinationals businesses face. In reality, understanding the scale of the risks is a significant task:

  • What is your third-party population and what are the different risks that they pose?

  • Are any third parties working with subcontractors without your knowledge?

  • Are you confident that every third-party you work with has robust controls and meets all compliance requirements?

  • Do you know everything you need to know?

Whether you need us for a standalone project or for high-volume third-party reviews, we will help you verify the information you hold, and find the information you don’t.

How we can help

Our third-party risk capability draws on a wide range of skills and experience from across our global network. We can call on more than 180,000 industry and regulatory experts in 157 territories; our teams include multilingual anti-corruption and financial crime investigators, intelligence analysts with an understanding of specific sector risk. We work closely with our sustainability, climate change and cyber specialists. Using the latest innovative technology and machine learning techniques we can support your third-party management, whatever your needs:

  • A risk-based approach – we will help you design, implement and test third-party risk and compliance programs across a wide range of risks, making use of cutting edge technology

  • Anti-bribery and corruption and sanctions due diligence and screening – we help carry out efficient and detailed due diligence on third parties, and M&A transactions and identify ABC risk across the entire lifecycle of a deal.

  • High-volume – we use bespoke technology to carry out sanctions screening, due diligence and risk assessment of high volumes of third-party relationships.

  • Real-time monitoring – our innovative tools allow for real-time monitoring of suppliers and other third parties, allowing you to always be on the front foot.

  • Third-party audits – we will help you screen and risk assess suppliers and distributors including detailed due diligence, monitoring and on-site visits.

Investigative data analytics

Are you prepared for an investigation or dispute?

  • How do you monitor large populations of data?

  • How do you interrogate unstructured and structured data to identify unusual activity?

  • Are you using the latest machine learning techniques to identify fraud and other high risk activity?

When an organisation faces an investigation, crisis or dispute, a positive outcome depends on the organisation’s ability to access every relevant piece of data, wherever it may lie.

Identifying and analysing structured data sources in such a complex environment calls for specialised capabilities and tools. It’s essential to understand where data resides on current and legacy systems and the connection between different data stores, as well as the potential limitations of the discovery process.

Our Investigative Analytics team are experts in scoping a wealth of systems and technologies for potentially relevant data and applying advanced analytical techniques to crisis and complex situations.

Making sense of data

Large organisations may have hundreds of different systems, some selected off the shelf and others created especially for them. Whether standard or bespoke, these systems make use of a wide range of technology. As an added complication, during an investigation relevant information is not confined only to data but encompasses the unique company algorithms that calculate risk, value or feed into decision-making.

Most of the information held by organisations is structured data, but the emphasis in most investigations and disputes is on unstructured data such as emails, documents, messages and voice files. Each brings their own challenges. Information stored in databases relating to customers, products, employees, financial records or transactions can be equally significant during an investigation – but this data often isn’t covered by existing discovery, data preservation or disclosure procedures.

If you face an investigation or dispute, we will support you every step of the way, from pre-investigation eDiscovery readiness through to early case assessment, data extraction, analysis and response. 

How we can help

Our team of skilled data scientists are experts in forensic extraction, analytics and the visual representation of data. Investigations involving complex data sets typically cross over legal, technology and business disciplines – our skills and experience mean we can navigate between each group and translate different requirements. This is essential in making sure that systems are scoped for all relevant data, that data is preserved, costs are controlled and the response is appropriate and proportionate.

We will support you through the entire investigation lifecycle, forensically analysing large and complex data sources to uncover critical insights and applying our advanced data science expertise and technologies alongside traditional eDiscovery services. We have developed a range of sophisticated tools that are available for our clients to use, either independently or as part of our services.

Dispute resolution and litigation support services

Our practice combines global reach with dedicated local teams to provide relevant expertise and robust, fact-based opinions and counsel. The depth and breadth of our resources offer a pivotal advantage in investigating issues and problems that extend across borders and affect multinational organisations.

Our professionals offer expertise in early case assessment, class certification, discovery assistance, quantification of exposure, claim preparation, and rebuttal and expert witness testimony. We can draw upon our global network of professionals including forensic accountants, analysts, fraud investigators, actuaries, forensic technologists, and legal experts - all leaders in their respective fields, to assist you throughout a dispute process, whether in an informal forum or in litigation, mediation or arbitration.

Whatever the dispute resolution process, our expertise ensures that all relevant facts and issues are investigated, analysed, and presented in a clear, objective manner.

We offer expertise in a variety of specialist areas, including

  • General commercial disputes

  • Corporate transaction and shareholder disputes

  • Intellectual property disputes

  • Antitrust / competition disputes

  • Capital project disputes

  • Government contract disputes

Licensing management

In a world of highly competitive markets, global outsourcing, and increasing market pressures, maximising the value of intangible assets has become a common topic in the boardroom. Whether it is a trademark, trade secret or patent, many companies find that licensing intellectual property (IP) is the strategic answer to maximising profits from intangible assets. Strategic alliances, licensing agreements, globalization, and an increasingly competitive environment necessitate a proactive, rather than reactive, attitude towards IP.

We have a great many years of experience in matters relating to licensing management and revenue recovery. While we work primarily with licensors, we also assist licensees by reviewing royalty agreements, ensuring compliance and resolving disputes.

Our professionals have extensive IP knowledge and a broad range of industry experience including technology (software, hardware, telecoms, and chip designers), pharmaceuticals, entertainment, publishing, consumer goods (branded products), and manufacturing. The Licensing Management practice has three things that significantly set it apart from the rest: a forensic approach, a well-integrated global network and superior client service. Our forensic approach delves much deeper than a typical "agreed upon procedures" approach which many of our competitors use. Many of our clients operate globally, so having a truly global network that can be deployed anywhere in the world gives PwC unique advantages. And our service to clients adds value that can be seen in the bottom line: In more than 80% of the royalty examinations we undertake for our clients, we uncover underreported revenues due to clerical errors, accounting mistakes or contract misunderstandings.

PwC can help you

  • Assess risks to the license portfolio

  • Develop strategies to manage, monitor and control that portfolio

  • Establish compliance programs for licensing, distribution, pricing and other contractual agreements

  • Conduct forensic-based royalty examinations

  • Carry out commercial reviews of royalty and financial provisions in agreements

  • Advise on royalty rates and licensing fees

  • Assist licensees prepare for a royalty examination

  • Act as expert witness

Forensic technology solutions

With more than 90% of all business records now created and stored electronically, no inquiry process can be truly comprehensive without giving consideration to these records. As a result, the recovery and analysis of electronic data has become an essential part of investigations and dispute resolution.

Efficiently and effectively identifying, preserving, retrieving and analysing electronic data in support of an investigation is fundamental to understanding and resolving disputes, and requires that the following questions be addressed:

  • What relevant electronic and hard copy records exist?

  • Where is the information located and what systems contain relevant data

  • Have appropriate steps been taken to avoid overwriting data that could result in spoliation claims?

  • Do backups exist? And if so, how and where are they maintained?

Our teams are backed by the most sophisticated research capabilities available. In secure computer labs located around the world, PwC’s forensic technology experts use advanced proprietary tools and data mining techniques to identify fraud patterns; electronic document management to retrieve paper records; and forensic computing to capture and manage evidence. Data is analysed using the same meticulous techniques employed by law enforcement and regulatory agencies - ensuring that the evidence we uncover is fully admissible in court. Our forensic teams are able to process huge volumes of documents, emails, and accounting data to support legal disputes or investigations. Companies also frequently call on our technical expertise to expose computer misuse or cybercrime.

Contact us

Kenneth Liu

Kenneth Liu

Managing Director, PwC Taiwan

Tel: +886 2 27296666, x25831

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